The Fall Economic Strategy ("FES") unveiled on November 21, 2023 has received a warm welcome from many players involved in Canada's natural resource sector. Following on the heels of Budget 2023, which emphasized the need for tools to enable the full participation of Indigenous communities in the economy in order to advance economic reconciliation, the FES announced that the federal government proposes to develop an Indigenous Loan Guarantee to enable Indigenous communities to have greater access to affordable capital helping to unlock opportunities for equity ownership in major resource projects. The FES did not include details on the program nor the specific types of projects in the natural resource sector that will be eligible. Further details are expected to be released in the 2024 budget. In designing this program, the federal government will be able to look to the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Programs that have been established to date in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta for guidance.
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